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ASN Formula One Driver Rankings – After 2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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The 2018 Belgian Grand Prix is in the books and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel had essentially an unexpected cakewalk with an 11-second victory over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in a distant third.

The race itself was only interesting for the first few laps as a multi-car crash on the first corner of the first lap took out three racers – Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc – and additional crashes at the same time on that corner took out Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Pole-sitter Hamilton held off Vettel for a third of a lap before Vettel surged past him and held that lead for the remainder of the race with only brief challenges from Hamilton on the race re-start after the crash and the pit crossovers. ASN awards full points to Vettel with secondary points to Hamilton and the third solitary point going to Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who had to start the race from the back of the grid and moved from 17th place up to fourth.

The Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award goes to Hulkenberg – his first point of the season – who inexplicably bull-rushed his car into the first corner and then, of course, could not brake in time to avoid rear-ending Alonso and catapulting him over Leclerc. Why he was thinking he needed so much speed going into that first corner can only be answered by Hulkenberg – and he did not have that answer after the race. Verstappen still comfortably leads the category.

The Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award is a tie between Verstappen who, about 30 seconds behind Vettel late in the race, asks his pit “Any chance of rain?” and Hamilton, who, after the race, inspects Vettel’s Ferrari that just easily beat him and says – “They got a few trick things going on in the car.” – inferring something illegal, which he then later backed off and clarified that he did not mean it that way. Right. Of course not. Hamilton still leads the category but Verstappen is nipping at his heels since Alonso did not get much of a chance to say anything during his shortened race.

The Bernie Ecclestone Doofus Moment Award is a group award divided eight ways amongst all the documented opponents of the Halo device which undoubtedly saved Leclerc from further injury – and possibly his life – as Alonso’s car flew overhead and was deflected by said device. Those Halo opponents were: the award namesake, Ecclestone, Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, Verstappen, Pierre Gasly, Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff and Hamilton and, ironically, Hulkenberg – both of whom initially opposed the Halo but later came around to accepting it [Alonso, Bottas and Vettel were the only early proponents of the Halo].

2018 ASN Driver Rankings – After Belgian Grand Prix

1] Lewis Hamilton – 23 points
2] Sebastian Vettel – 20
3] Kimi Raikkonen – eight
4] Daniel Ricciardo/Max Verstappen – seven
6] Valtteri Bottas – six
7] Sergio Perez – three
8] Pierre Gasly/Nico Hulkenberg – two

2018 Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award – After Belgian Grand Prix

1] Verstappen – 4.83 points
2] Romain Grosjean – two
3] Bottas/Hulkenberg/Sergey Sirotkin/Stoffel Vandoorne/Vettel – one
8] Raikkonen – .5
9] Red Bull/Ricciardo – .3

2018 Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award – After Belgian Grand Prix

1] Hamilton – four points
2] Verstappen – three
3] Fernando Alonso – 2.5
4] Bottas/Raikkonen/Vettel – one
7] Minttu Raikkonen – .5

2018 Bernie Ecclestone Doofus Moment Award – After Belgian Grand Prix

1] Hamilton – 2.125 points
2] McLaren/Mercedes – 1.5
4] Verstappen – 1.125
5] Canadian Grand Prix officials/Ferrari pit [Raikkonen]/Mercedes pit [Hamilton]/Monaco Grand Prix officials/Force India – one
10] Azerbaijan Grand Prix officials/Spanish Grand Prix officials – .5
12] Ecclestone/Gasly/Grosjean/Hulkenberg/Magnussen/Toto Wolff – .125

About Alex Bean

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